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U.S. “religious left” supports Obamacare

DALLAS (Reuters) – Liberal religious groups announced on Monday they are teaming up with President Barack Obama in a national campaign to counter the surprisingly vehement conservative opposition to his plan for overhaul of the U.S. healthcare industry this year.

Organized by liberal-leaning evangelicals, some mainline Protestant clergy, and some Catholic groups, it will include Obama participating in a call-in program with religious leaders streamed on the Internet on August 19, prayer meetings and nationwide television ads.

“As a pastor I believe access to healthcare is a profoundly moral issue,” Rev. Stevie Wakes of Olivet Institutional Baptist in Kansas City, said in a news teleconference announcing the “40 days for Health Reform” campaign.

Protestors have confronted members of Congress across the country in town hall meetings held to take the public pulse on the various healthcare overhaul plans being written in Congress.

What lawmakers found was anger fueled in part by Christian and conservative radio that healthcare would lead to taxpayer funded abortion and even euthanasia for the old, have incited much of the loudest and most dramatic reaction.

Conservative Catholics often side with Republican-leaning evangelicals in opposition to abortion rights but the biblical call to help the sick and the poor is also an important part of the faith. Obama’s healthcare agenda includes extending health insurance to the roughly 46 million uninsured Americans.

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